Labour slams Government empty promises on Vacancy and Dereliction

Senator Mark Wall
23 April 2024

Labour’s Senator Mark Wall speaking on the Plinth today condemned the government’s lack of action on addressing vacancy and dereliction across the country. Despite promises and fanfare, the one-off Vacant Property Refurbishment Grant introduced by the government resulted in only 97 drawdowns in 2023. 

Senator Wall said, 

“It is outrageous that in the midst of an acute housing crisis, thousands of homes across our country sit idle, either vacant or derelict. The government’s failure to effectively utilise resources and implement meaningful solutions is unacceptable.

“With over 4,000 children experiencing homelessness, the situation is dire and demands immediate attention.Every vacant or derelict property represents a missed opportunity to provide a safe and secure home for someone in need.

“Instead of decisive action, the Government response to the disaster was the one-off Vacant Property Refurbishment Grant. We now know there were only 97 drawdowns in 2023 of the grant. This is another example of tinkering around the edges of the housing disaster, Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil are focused on short-termism – not effective action.

“Instead of focusing on grants that are unaffordable for most people, what we need to see is a reform of local authority powers. This should include the power to act decisively and compulsory purchase homes that are lying idle to bring them back into the community. Labour has been calling for a streamlining of compulsory purchase powers because we believe the State should be using Councils to CPO vacant and derelict homes, ensuring their speedy renovation. 

“It’s time for the Government to stop making excuses and take decisive action. We call on them to adequately fund local authorities and deploy resources on the ground to address this crisis. The time for half-measures is over.” 


Stay up to date

Receive our latest updates in your inbox.
By subscribing you agree to receive emails about our campaigns, policies, appeals and opportunities to get involved. Privacy Policy

Follow us

Connect with us on social media